internal quality control

Equipment maintenance is one
of the essential elements of a good quality management system.  Proper maintenance of the analyser in the
laboratory is necessary to ensure accurate, reliable, and timely testing of
biological specimens. Daily analyser maintenance involves a series of
inspections and the replenishment of solutions.  Its benefits include:

• helps to maintain a high
level of laboratory performance;

• reduces variation in test
results, and improves the biomedical scientist’s confidence in the accuracy of
testing results;

• lowers repair costs, as
fewer repairs will be needed for a well-maintained instrument;

• lengthens instrument life;

• reduces interruption of
services due to breakdowns and failures.

Failing to maintain an
analyser can lead to errors which can cause a delay in result turnaround time.
For example improper maintenance or lack of maintenance of the Cobas 8000
analyser could lead to build up of debris eg sodium salts; near the reagent
probes which can contaminate a sample during its analysis thus affecting the
patient results.

Instrument calibration is
one of the primary processes used to maintain instrument accuracy. Calibration
is the process of configuring an instrument to provide a result for a sample
within an acceptable range. Eliminating or minimizing factors that cause
inaccurate measurements is a fundamental aspect of instrumentation design.

Although the exact
procedure may vary from product to product, the calibration process generally
involves using the instrument to test samples of one or more known values
called “calibrators.” The results are used to establish a relationship between
the measurement technique used by the instrument and the known values. The
instrument can then provide more accurate results when samples of unknown
values are tested in the normal usage of the product. Calibrations are